Festival de la Mi-Carême 2022
Next Date: Mar 20, 2022
A two hundred year old festival that celebrates dance, music and the Acadian culture. During Mi-Carême many people, called les mi-carêmes,...
In 2019 three classic dye plants are being grown organically on a commercial scale on Cape Breton Island for the very first time. This first harvest workshop will be a colourful and very fun introduction to various methods of working with one or more of these plants (which plants we work with will depend on the harvest results, but regardless, there will be lots and lots of colour!).
DATE/TIME: Friday 11 October, 2019; 10 am to 4 pm
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: In recent years, there has been a significant resurgence in interest in natural fibres and natural dyes, as people grow more concerned about the effects of their own, and the planet’s, exposure to toxic chemicals. Also, many people are motivated to rediscover crafts that are a part of our collective human heritage, connect us to our ancestors’ ways of life, and immerse us in a respectful and creative relationship with the natural world.
To celebrate our first organic dye plant harvest, this fun, colourful workshop – taking place during the Celtic Colours International Festival & the World Wide Weave exhibit (a global natural dye collaboration) at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts – will allow participants to learn proper natural dye techniques from one of Canada’s best known natural dye experts (Mel Sweetnam, of Mamie’s Schoolhouse, who is also coordinating the farm trials), with a strong focus on ecological methods, the history, artistry, and science of natural dyes, and using material from the first harvest of our island’s organically farmed dye plants. This is a hands-on workshop for participants, who will learn fresh leaf pigment extraction methods for Woad, a dye plant of ancient importance to the Celts that produces a range of beautiful blue and green colours, and/or learn dye bath techniques for Weld and Dyer’s Coreopsis, historic pigment plants from either side of the Atlantic Ocean that produce a range of beautiful gold, orange, and green colours, and that can be combined and over-dyed to produce a rainbow of other colours.
STUDENTS WILL LEARN: about Cape Breton’s first commercial dye plant trial (all grown organically) and our hopes for sustainably diversifying the island’s economy; about different types of fibres/textiles (i.e. protein vs. cellulose based fibres) and why they need to be treated differently (scouring & mordanting); how to prepare plant material to maximize dye yield; how to prepare fibres to maximize colour uptake, and minimize fading; how to create a range of hues from any given plant; natural post-dye treatments to protect fibres; good record keeping so that dye results can be reproduced.
STUDENTS WILL TAKE HOME: skills in proper natural dyeing techniques; a detailed handout; and fibre samples dyed in the workshop.
A for Adventure is coming to Cape Breton! Where are they going to go and what are they doing? Well, that's up to YOU! Visit our Facebook page to vote on where they will go and what adventures they'll get up to!
Join us daily for trivia questions with prize gift certificates to some of the best accommodations, restaurants, and experiences on the Island!
Heather Rankin is a singer, songwriter, actor and member of the 6X Juno Award winning band The Rankin Family. As a solo artist she has released two albums, A Fine Line (ECMA/Juno Nom.) and Imagine (ECMA Nom.).